Friday, November 2, 2012

boasting in the Lord

Good morning brothers and sisters,
Paul continues his discussion of faith and community with a detour about our strength and God's strength. This is one of the most important passages in Paul's writing for a Christian understanding of power. When we focus on ourselves: our wisdom, our strength, our status, we forget about God. So God breaks into the world in a totally different way. Instead of being powerful and impressive, God became a poor teacher and died on a cross in shame. That seems like foolishness to people chasing after status and recognition. For those who know Jesus, we recognize a deeper truth: a God who loves us so much he puts everything else aside to save us. 

If God acts like this, it suggests Christians shouldn't be so worried about worldly power, reputation or money. Instead we follow Jesus in humble service. I wonder what embracing the way of the cross would mean for Christians when it comes to politics? What if we tried to listen to our opponents instead of demeaning them? What if we worried less about our power and more about how to serve others?

God bless,

1 Corinthians 1:17-31
17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. 18For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. 

26Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

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